May 25

Coletti reigns in Monaco (updated)

Monegasque driver sprints to home win

GP2 - Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (MP Motorsport), Stefano Coletti (Rapax), Mitch Evans (Arden International)Stefano Coletti achieved a life’s ambition by winning today’s sprint race in Monaco, looking untouchable on his home circuit as he handled the changing conditions better than his rivals while controlling his pace to easily lead home Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and Mitch Evans.

With spots of rain falling as the cars came to the grid all eyes were on Ste Devote as the lights went out, as the teams were hoping to avoid a repeat of yesterday’s first start: poleman Quaife-Hobbs made a solid getaway, fellow front row starter Rene Binder didn’t, and Coletti stormed past with James Calado and Evans on his tail.

Evans poached another spot at Portier, running inside the Briton who only just made the corner before having to defend hard from Felipe Nasr, but it was to no avail: the Brazilian took fourth at Ste Devote when Calado cut the corner. Up ahead his countryman was struggling with the conditions as Coletti piled on the pressure: one lap later he had the inside line at the new chicane and was through for the lead.

With the track drying out the Monegasque driver was already thinking of the championship, building a gap at will before dropping back to cool his tyres ahead of a fast lap as he looked for the bonus point, while behind him Quaife-Hobbs was unable to do anything about Coletti in front of him as his mirrors were full of his rivals all around the circuit.

And as the laps rolled down, the result was never in doubt: Coletti rolled across the line as the first local man to win in Monaco since Louis Chiron in 1931, easily ahead of Quaife-Hobbs who held on against race-long pressure to lead a train of Evans (who claimed two podiums over the weekend), Nasr and Calado. Binder had a quiet race to finish P6, just ahead of yesterday’s P2 man Kevin Ceccon and the other local driver, Stephane Richelmi.

The win extends Coletti’s lead in the title race to 120 points versus Nasr on 96, with Sam Bird on 58 points ahead of Leimer on 54, Calado on 40, Robin Frijns on 37 and Evans on 36: the local man will have just over a month to celebrate before turning towards the next round of the championship in Silverstone.

Monte Carlo – Sprint race
Stefano Coletti
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
MP Motorsport
Mitch Evans
Arden International
Felipe Nasr
James Calado
ART Grand Prix
Rene Binder
Venezuela GP Lazarus
Kevin Ceccon
Trident Racing
Stéphane Richelmi
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Team
Sergio Canamasas
EQ8 Caterham Racing
Jolyon Palmer
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
Julian Leal
Racing Engineering
Robin Frijns
Hilmer Motorsport
Rio Haryanto
Barwa Addax Team
Jon Lancaster
Hilmer Motorsport
Marcus Ericsson
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
Kevin Giovesi
Venezuela GP Lazarus
Nathanaël Berthon
Trident Racing
Daniel Abt
ART Grand Prix
Simon Trummer
Sam Bird
Tom Dillmann
Fastest Lap : Sam Bird (RUSSIAN TIME) – 1:22.375 on lap 21

source: GP2 Series


DAMS’s optimism still intact despite the vagaries of fortune!

The Monaco roulette wheel continued the run of bad luck that has struck the reigning double championship team. Marcus Ericsson, in particular, was the unwitting victim of the huge pile-up in Sainte Devote in the first race. Stéphane Richelmi was able to salvage some points. While Monaco yielded a lean harvest, the overall performance gives cause for optimism.

As the car set up was not perfect, the drivers lacked a little confidence and had an average qualifying session even though they had been on the front rows in the previous events. The system of two groups particular to Monaco only served to emphasize this discrepancy. Ericsson qualified on the sixth row and Richelmi on the ninth.

The first race only lasted a few hundred metres for Ericsson who was an unwitting victim of the collision triggered by Johnny Cecotto. His car was damaged and he had to retire. Richelmi managed to avoid the chaos and was in sixth place at the restart. But after changing his tyres too early he was unable to fend off his rivals at the end of the race and he finished ninth having lost eighth place – which would have given him pole for the sprint event – on the last lap. The second race was hell for Marcus who was stuck behind slower drivers and finished eighteenth. Stéphane was in a similar situation, but managed to bag the point that went with eighth place. Despite these difficult conditions, the times set by the drivers show that there is now light at the end of the tunnel.

François Sicard, Managing Director: “We have mixed feelings after the weekend. Bad luck seems to pursue Marcus. Without making any mistakes, he was again eliminated by an accident through no fault of his own. Stéphane drove a very good, solid, quick and consistent sprint race. Maybe our cars weren’t as quick as in the last heats and that didn’t help the drivers. We have a long break before the next round and we’re going to work very hard. I’m convinced that we’ll soon be back fighting at the front!”

Marcus Ericsson: “More bad luck! But that’s racing especially here in Monaco. There was absolutely nothing I could do about the crash at the start of the race, and of course it also handicapped me in the second one as I was stuck behind slower cars. We’re going to continue working and I know that the team has the resources to fight at the front. So I’m feeling confident for Silverstone.”

Stéphane Richelmi: “After a poor qualifying session I was able to avoid the first lap mayhem and restart in sixth place. Although I was supposed to do a long first stint I had to come in early, and I then did thirty-three laps on qualifying tyres. They were completely shot at the end and I wasn’t able to fend off Quaife-Hobbs in the last lap. Throughout the sprint race I was quicker than the drivers in front of me although I was unable to find a way past. Thus, I’m disappointed, but given the car’s performance I’m certain we’ll be fighting at the front in England.”

Next round: Great Britain: Silverstone 29-30 June.


source: dams.fr

ART Grand Prix

coming soon

source: art-grandprix.com


Double podium for Evans in Monaco

The prestigious Monte Carlo street circuit held the fourth round of the GP2 Championship this weekend. The track, known for its constriction and lack of overtaking opportunities, still gave the Arden team some credit to its performance.

With the timetable beginning a day earlier, Johnny and Mitch were out on Thursday morning for the first free practice session. This circuit is home to the Venezuelan driver, who won his first GP2 race in Monaco last year. It was Mitch’s second visit to the Principality, following his GP3 outing last year. The session was rather undisturbed with only a couple of yellow flags, allowing Mitch to place his Arden machine in third and Johnny in sixth, following a brush with the wall, bending his suspension slightly.

Mitch Evans

“Heading into Monaco I honestly didn’t know what to expect, we had two difficult weekends since my podium in Malaysia so the plan was to turn it around and get back to the points end of the field. In Practice we instantly had pace, everything was coming to me and we were strong straight out of the box. We were 3rd in practice and managed to continue our pace into Qualifying by topping my group but 0.02 off pole. It was a great result for the team, having a 1-2 with Johnny on pole.”

Johnny Cecotto Jr

“We worked very well in preparation for Monaco and after a lot work I think we had a very good setup on the car. In free practice I touched the wall in the third lap and bent the suspension slightly which changed the balance of the car a bit, making it a little harder to drive but I could feel that the car was very good. We made only a very slight change for Qualifying. We had prepared a decent plan for the laps in Qualifying and we held to that perfectly without any problems of traffic, which gave us a perfect session. We had two very good laps, both of which would have given us pole of the session but only the best one gave us the pole of both sessions!”

source: arden-motorsport.com

Racing Eng.

No points today for Racing Engineering in the Monaco Sprint Race.

Only 25 cars would start today’s 30 lap Sprint Race following the Race Stewards decision to exclude Cecotto for his part in causing the first lap incident in yesterday’s Feature Race which saw nine cars forced out of the race including both of the Racing Engineering cars. Following their retirements Fabio Leimer started from 18th on the grid and Julián Leal 20th and, on such a tight circuit with very limited opportunities to pass, little chance of getting into the points.

As the cars lined up on the grid the rain, that had affected F1 qualifying, began to fall and with all the cars starting on slicks everybody was hoping that it would quickly stop.

As the lights went off the cars made a clean start with everybody being very cautious into Saint Devote on the damp track, both Racing Engineering drivers had reasonable starts with Fabio holding on to 18th and Julián moving up to 19th. As the cars started the second lap Fabio was chasing Palmer with Julián right behind his team-mate and by lap 6 they had both gained three positions as Abt and Trummer were given drive-through penalties for jumping the start and Dillmann made a pitstop.

Fortunately the rain had stopped and the track was quickly drying and Fabio and Julián were now involved in a tense battle with the cars from 12th to 17th separated by just five seconds. Fabio was still in 15th and chasing Palmer with Julián one second behind and running just ahead of Frijns.

As the race approached half distance and the cars started their 15th lap Fabio was 0.3 seconds behind Canamasas, who had been passed by Palmer, and the midfield battle was now even more intense with the gap from Richelmi in 8th to Julián in 15th just six seconds. Both of the Racing Engineering cars gained another place as Bird pitted moving Fabio up to 14th and Julián to 15th.

By lap 20 the cars were lapping some three seconds a lap slower than they had been earlier in the race as tyre degradation became a factor and although the fight for 10th place was incredibly close with Lancaster in 10th just two seconds ahead of Julián in 15th it would need a mistake by a driver to overtake. Suddenly, on lap 23 there was light contact between several cars at Loews corner and both Fabio and Julián were able to take advantage and move up another place. There were no further changes of position over the remaining laps and Fabio crossed the finishing line in 13th with Julian just 0.4s behind in 14th.

The Racing Engineering team will now return to their Sanlúcar de Barrameda base to prepare for the next race weekend in one month’s time at Silverstone where, hopefully, Fabio and Julián can experience a change from the bad luck that has dogged them recently.

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering:

“Today’s race was difficult considering the starting positions and track layout. Drivers have been cautious and changing weather conditions before the start might have added to it. We followed the group ahead, but there was hardly any overtaking today. Fabio had contact with the wall, which slightly bent his suspension and didn’t help the behaviour of his car. Julian drove well, and stayed behind Fabio all race long, not wanting to take any risk of making contact. Overall the result of the weekend is terribly disappointing as we had placed both cars in the top 7 in qualifying, so we expected to score a lot of points with both cars in both races.”

Fabio Leimer:

“As expected it was a quite boring race. I had an OK start and after that there wasn’t too much possible here in Monaco. I touched the wall on lap 5 or 6, slightly bending my suspension, but I was able to finish the race. Now we have a break and I am already looking forward to Silverstone.”

Julián Leal:

“Before the start it began to rain a bit, so it was not so easy to warm the tyres during the first laps. But I was able to start well, gaining one position. After that the pace was good, but it was too risky to overtake, so in the end I finished 14th.”

source: racing-engineering.com


coming soon

source: carlin.co.uk

Russian Time logo

Russian Time

coming soon


Caterham Racing logo

Caterham Racing

Monaco GP2 Sprint Race

  • Circuit de Monaco – 25/05/13
  • Car #14 Sergio Canamasas – P11
  • Car #15 Alexander Rossi – P19
  • Race length: 30 laps
  • Monaco Circuit Length: 3.34km
  • Total Distance: 100.2km
  • Tyre use: P Zero Soft tyre
  • Weather: Air temp 19˚C / track temp 20˚C

Following Friday’s GP2 feature race which saw Alexander Rossi’s day end at turn one in a thirteen car pileup and Sergio Canamasas take the re-start from the pit lane, both drivers were out of position on the grid for Saturday’s sprint race, lining up 15th and 23rd.

Dark clouds loomed and rain fell as the cars lined up on the grid but it was not enough to warrant wet tyres and the race started on time at 16.10.

With lessons learnt from the Friday feature race all 25 cars made it through the first corner without incident.

Both EQ8 Caterham Racing drivers made good starts but with so little room for error around the streets of Monaco it was almost impossible to overtake and better their positions. Having lost a place to Palmer early in the race Sergio re-passed him on the final lap to take the chequered flag 11th and Alexander brought the car home in 19th.

EQ8 Caterham Racing Team Manager Phill Spencer “This weekend in Monaco did not quite go to plan with the incident on Friday putting both drivers to the back of the grid and with a processional race it is impossible to progress through the field.

“We are pleased to have both cars home in one piece and we now look ahead to our home Grand Prix at Silverstone.”

Alexander Rossi “Today was always going to be difficult as I started the race in 23rd place after not being allowed to restart the feature race. We took a risk in the race to run on super soft tyres in the hope to gain early track position and I had a good start, but so did everyone else and it’s difficult to overtake in Monaco. I believed when it began to rain at the start of the race that I’d have an advantage if everyone pitted for wets to gain even more positions. This never happened and unfortunately we struggled with understeer throughout the race. We’ll look to improve on this before Silverstone next month.”

Sergio Canamasas: “The rain at the start was a worry so I did not take any risks as I wanted to make it to the end of the race, and overtaking is just so difficult here. I managed to pass Palmer on the last lap but we knew that in the second race here where you start is pretty much where you will finish.

“I am not disappointed and not happy but, again, I can take away the fastest lap of yesterday’s race and be pleased to finish just outside the top ten in the sprint race.”

source: caterham-racing.com

Barwa Addax

coming soon

source: addaxteam.com

Rapax Team


coming soon

source: rapaxteam.com

Trident Racing
Trident Racing

coming soon

source: tridentracing.it

Hilmer Motorsport logo
Hilmer Motorsport

coming soon


Venezuela GP Lazarus
Venezuela GP Lazarus


10 points scored, P7 in race 1 and P6 in race 2 for the rookie Rene Binder in Monaco: really a good job for the Austrian driver and Venezuela GP Lazarus. Unfortunately, Giovesi was involved in a big crash in race 1 and had to retire (and then he had to start at the bottom of the grid in race 2).

Chaos at the start of race 1, caused by the poleman Cecotto that crashed into the first corner, causing a a big collision in which was involved both Binder and Giovesi. Binder was able to return on track, but unfortunately Giovesi had to retire.

Binder, thanks to a perfect strategy and a consistent race pace, finished P7: a very good result for the young Austrian driver, who also scored points in race 2 (he was P6 at the end). Giovesi instead, thanks to a prudent race, was P20 in race 2.

Rene Binder #24

“It was my first time in Monte Carlo, so I think we can be very happy with what we achieved on the most exciting F1 circuit in the world. The funny thing was that I posted the 16th fastest lap time overall in qualifying, but was in the faster Group B and additionally received a grid penalty to start from P22 on the grid. However, after the re-start following the first corner collision in St. Devote, I was on P16 to start my comeback and achieve a fine 7th place thanks to a perfect strategy and a consistent race pace. Race 2 was a little bit spoiled by a bad start but at the end I was able to defend my 6th place against Sam Birds and Kevin Ceccon.”

Kevin Giovesi #25

“Racing in Monaco as a rookie is not so simple. It was a real pity that I was involved in the very big crash in the first corner in race 1 and had to retire. So race 2 for me was a sort of test session, and my goal was end the race and gain experience in such a difficult circuit.”

Tancredi Pagiaro, Team Principal

“We did a great job in Monaco, as we also did in Malaysia, Bahrain and Barcelona. Congratulations to Rene for collecting important points in a circuit in which he had never run, his pace race was so good, especially in race 1. Congratulations also to Kevin (both Giovesi and Binder were rookie in Monaco) who deserved much more, if it had not been involved in a big crash in race 1. Finally, thanks to all the guys who once again did a great job on the cars and to our sponsors for supporting us.”

source: teamlazarus.it

MP Motorsport logo
MP Motorsport


First year GP2 Series team MP Motorsport celebrated its maiden podium in the FIA Formula One World Championship support category during round eight in Monaco on Saturday, 25th May, with Adrian Quaife-Hobbs racing to a famous second place on the streets of the Principality.

Off the back of an incredible top eight result during a dramatic and incident packed seventh round on Friday, 24th May, Quaife-Hobbs made the most of his ‘reverse grid’ pole position for the Sprint Race to scorch away from the line and lead for the first couple of laps.

Although having to succumb to the challenge of championship leader Stefano Coletti at the exit of the tunnel on the third tour, Quaife-Hobbs didn’t put a wheel wrong thereafter and saw off the ever present threat of Mitch Evans and Felipe Nasr to the chequered flag on lap 30.

Not only taking his and the team’s first podium in GP2 at the calendar’s crown jewel event, the result has enabled Quaife-Hobbs to rocket up the championship standings from 17th position, prior to the weekend, into 11th place.

“It’s amazing”, said an elated Quaife-Hobbs after race two, “Obviously we were helped a little bit [in race one] with the crash at Turn One, but I was still fast and I overtook [Stephane] Richelmi on the last lap to get the pole for race two which completely turned my weekend around. This podium is a great reward for the team and how hard they’ve worked.”

Capping two very strong races for MP Motorsport, team-mate Daniël De Jong claimed his first point of the 2013 campaign with 10th place in round seven – a fantastic achievement considering he had to battle back from a drive-through penalty – before adding ninth place in round eight.

Like Quaife-Hobbs, De Jong was able to avoid the chaos in Friday’s race to post an impressively strong result and he converted his fifth row grid slot for round eight into his second top 10 finish of the weekend. Frustratingly, the Dutchman was a mere 0.6 seconds shy of a top eight points result in race two after an impressively competitive drive.

“It’s really great to score my first point of the season in GP2”, said De Jong, “Race one was pretty crazy at the start but we managed to come through OK without getting any damage. It was disappointing to get the penalty but the car was good so I could do some good lap times and take a good finish. We were really close to scoring again in race two, overtaking was impossible though.”

Quaife-Hobbs and De Jong impress on streets of Monte-Carlo

At the start of Friday’s race, chaos reigned almost immediately with a multi-car tangle at the first corner, Ste Devote, resulted in a red flag stoppage. Quaife-Hobbs managed to expertly thread his way through past the stricken cars into eighth position while De Jong just managed to squeeze through the middle of two collisions to emerge in ninth place.

Following a lengthy delay, the race was re-started behind the Safety Car in the order at the time of the stoppage. Running in eighth and ninth, Quaife-Hobbs and De Jong circulated in that order until the former took his mandatory pit-stop at the end of the 10th tour – from which he emerged in 11th place, ahead of Jon Lancaster who had been holding his compatriot up during the early stages.

While the majority of front-runners stopped during the next few laps, De Jong remained on track until the end of the 15th tour when he pitted from second place. Unfortunately for the Dutchman, a problem with the rear jack cost him significant time and the frustration was compounded when he was given a drive-through penalty for straying over the yellow line when exiting the pits.

Despite that, De Jong produced a determined drive to claw his way back into contention for the top 10 from 16th place. Swarming all over the back of Tom Dillmann’s car into the last couple of laps, De Jong sliced past on the final tour to brilliantly secure his first championship point of the season.

Quaife-Hobbs, meanwhile, was up into ninth place when De Jong pitted and spent lap after lap bottled up behind the clearly slower Stephane Richelmi. With the ‘reverse grid’ pole position there for the taking, the MP Motorsport driver threw everything he could at trying to find a way by.

Absolutely glued to Richelmi’s car during the closing stages, Quaife-Hobbs managed to make the breakthrough at the end of the penultimate tour to edge ahead into eighth position – importantly sealing the coveted pole spot for Saturday’s race.

With light rain in the air ahead of round eight, there was some uncertainty as to whether the race would be affected but the precipitation didn’t worsen so the entire 30 lap encounter took place on slick tyres.

Quaife-Hobbs launched away from the line well to maintain his place at the front and he scorched into a strong early lead from points leader Coletti. Although quickly coming under pressure from the Monegasque driver, the MP Motorsport racer looked assured but Coletti benefited from a great run through the tunnel on lap three to shoot past on the inside into the Nouvelle Chicane.

Although Coletti initially pulled well clear as Quaife-Hobbs had to focus on the pressure from Mitch Evans behind, the Briton did close back in to the leader midway through but the order remained unchanged to the finish.

De Jong, meanwhile, maintained 10th position off the start and shadowed Richelmi lap after lap as a big train of cars built up behind the Monaco native. By lap 13, the group had caught eighth placed Sam Bird and three laps later Richelmi and De Jong made their way past. Running in ninth, De Jong initially lost some ground to his rival but closed back in to finish a mere 0.6 seconds shy at the flag.

“It really has been an intensive weekend for the team, everyone worked so hard to improve the car after qualifying but to take our first podium with Adrian is much more than we expected”, said team principal Sander Dorsman.

“Adrian and Daniël both did a really great job in the races, it’s great for them both to have scored points this weekend. Being on the podium in Monaco is really special. We now focus on the next round at Silverstone at the end of next month. Being a new GP2 team we are still learning and improving and we are sure we can perform stronger in Silverstone.”

Rounds nine and 10 of the 2013 GP2 Series will take place at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in the UK on 29th/30th June, running as support to the British Grand Prix.

2013 GP2 Series Driver Standings (after Rd8):

11th Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, 23pts; 23rd Daniël De Jong, 1pt

2013 GP2 Series Team Standings (after Rd8):

10th MP Motorsport, 24pts




The two softest tyres in Pirelli’s GP2 range, the P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft, performed perfectly in the tight and twisty confines of Monaco – allowing the teams to utilise a number of different race strategies.

With overtaking so difficult at Monaco – round four of this year’s GP2 Series – qualifying was crucial, and this had a vital effect on the race strategies. The supersoft, with its rapid warm-up time, was quicker over one lap but the soft tyre, with its greater durability, had the advantage over a race distance.

Arden driver Johnny Cecotto took pole after a qualifying session that was unusually held on Thursday, on a comparatively ‘green’ track, and split into two sessions in order to avoid traffic problems.

Cecotto did an excellent job to qualify on pole using the soft tyres, just ahead of his team mate Mitch Evans: the reigning GP3 champion and recipient of a Pirelli scholarship, which has helped the New Zealander graduate to GP2 this year.

However, Cecotto made a relatively slow getaway in Race One, allowing Evans past him, and under braking for the first corner he crashed, triggering a pile-up that eliminated nine of the runners.

The 42-lap race was red-flagged and at the re-start Evans was into the lead, having switched to the supersoft during the red flag period. Russian Time driver Sam Bird pursued him on the soft tyre. Evans pitted on lap 13, having to change all four tyres to the soft compound while Bird pitted four laps later and just changed the rears, as he stuck to the soft compound.

This decision was critical in constructing Bird’s 22-second victory from Trident driver Kevin Ceccon, who followed a similar strategy but stopped two laps earlier. Evans salvaged third place while the highest climber was Lazarus driver Rene Binder, who completed one of the longest first stints – 29 laps – on the soft before changing the rears only, climbing from 15th at the re-start to seventh at the finish. Just behind him was MP driver Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, who started on the supersoft and changed all four tyres on lap 10.

Bird commented: “Some people thought that the supersoft would last a bit longer. We thought that they wouldn’t and that was the case. So I was pacing myself behind Mitch. I could not really push. Then he pitted and I pushed for three or four laps to build a gap to everybody, which we did.”

Tyre strategy was just as important to the 30-lap sprint race on Saturday, with no compulsory pit stops. The grid was formed of the top eight finishers from Race One reversed and conditions were made extremely tricky by some light rain that started to fall just before the start. Rapax driver Stefano Coletti won his home race on the soft tyre, having started from third on the grid and taken the lead on lap three. From then on, he successfully managed his tyres all the way to the finish, backing off to conserve them when he was able to, and pushing hard to extend his advantage when he could. As a result, Coletti became the first Monegasque driver to win at home since Louis Chiron in 1931, extending his championship lead to 24 points over Carlin’s Felipe Nasr in the process.

Coletti said: “The soft tyre was the best solution: we still had tyres at the end and if the race had gone on for another 10 laps, it would have been no problem.”

Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola concluded: “In some tricky conditions, Monaco turned out to be all about strategy, as we expected. Bird’s decision to use the soft tyre in the feature race and change the rear tyres only turned out to be the key to victory. However, the drivers also had to decide when was the best time to use the supersoft, and some of those who favoured the soft tyre in the feature race – such as Bird – needed to make the supersoft last in the feature race, which was a big challenge. Coletti provided everybody with a masterclass on how to use the tyres effectively in the sprint race. Although he was able to push hard to overtake and build up a lead, he also knew when to back off to cool the compound and extend its life. As a result of which, he not only won his home race commandingly but he also had plenty left in reserve: an excellent achievement at Monaco, where it is only the tyres that provide the mechanical grip needed to negotiate most of the corners.”

This year’s GP2 season takes in 11 rounds and 22 races. The next round of the Pirelli-equipped series takes place in Silverstone, United Kingdom, from June 28-30.

source: pirelli.com


 Alexander Rossi logo


The GP2 Championship Series weekend in the Principality began on Thursday for official practice. Half the field used the Pirelli Soft and Supersoft tire during the session and the other half remained on the soft compound only, making qualifying predictions difficult as each team diced a different strategy for qualifying, later that afternoon.

Caterham Racing decided to remain on the soft compound and as with most things in Monaco, GP2 qualifying was also slightly different for this event. The standard thirty minute practice session was split into two groups to help reduce traffic, while providing the best chance for all drivers to record a clear lap.

Alexander was in the first group, and struggled to find pace with the car, ending the session 7th. After the completion of 2nd group, Alexander was placed 13th on the grid for Friday’s feature race.

GP2 Monaco Qualifying – Alexander Rossi – P13 – 1:22.511

EQ8 Caterham Racing Team Manager Phill Spence r”We have moved to Monaco for the second European race of the GP2 season, a circuit that we have had success at previously, with a win in 2011 and two third places last year. Qualifying means so much here and we have not quite performed as well as we had hoped.”

Alexander Rossi “I have always been confident in Monaco and have enjoyed some good results here in the past. In free practice this morning we ran the soft tire and I suffered a large amount of understeer. Before qualifying we were optimistic about the changes we’d made to mitigate problems from practice, however there was the unknown of not practicing on the super soft tire early in the day and unfortunately the changes did not work and believe we lost even more time to the leaders. Starting mid pack in Monaco is never going to be easy, but we’ve worked hard on a good strategy for the race one and my personal goal will be to get to the top eight. This is achievable if I get a good start and a clean first lap.”

Monaco GP2 Feature Race

  • Car #15 Alexander Rossi – DNF
  • Race length: 42 laps
  • Monaco Circuit Length: 3.34km
  • Tire use: P Zero soft tire & P Zero Super soft
  • Weather: Air Temp 22˚C / track temp 26 ˚C

Monaco is notorious for turn one incidents and today was no different for the GP2 feature race.

Cecotto was hot off the line from pole position but lost control and hit the wall at turn one causing a concertina effect behind him as one by one the top thirteen cars piled into each other which Alexander was unlucky to be caught between Robin Frijns in front and Stefano Coletti behind.

The race was red flagged and resumed after 45 minutes to clear up operation where confusion reigned. Drivers were unsure whether they could restart the race or not. Alexander Rossi was one of the unlucky ones, unable to take the restart following a steward’s decision, a major disappointment after making up six places off the line and in a strong position to race for the coveted top 8 positions in Race one.

Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett “This was a typically eventful Monaco race, starting with a crash and ending in lots of finger wagging and recriminations. It is a bitter shame for Alexander and we feel it was unfair that some cars were allowed to restart and Alexander was not, a decision which we challenged but that is Monaco. I have been engineering at Monaco for forty years and it is a special event where marshaling is extremely challenging and somebody usually loses out.”

Alexander Rossi “I had a great start and was on the inside line challenging for seventh place going into turn one which was exactly where I wanted to be. It was instant carnage ahead and me along with most the cars around me had nowhere to go. It was disappointing to end my day this way after a great start and what seemed to be a good recovery from practice and qualifying. There was then confusion with the marshals, drivers and the team about getting out of the car and the restart process with some cars being pushed back to the grid. When we received the message that I was unable to restart the race I was gutted as I am sure a top seven finish was achievable following my start.”

Monaco GP2 Sprint Race

  • Car #15 Alexander Rossi
  • Started 23rd – Finished 19th
  • Race length: 30 laps
  • Monaco Circuit Length: 3.34km
  • Total Distance: 100.2km
  • Tyre use: P Zero Soft tyre
  • Weather: Air temp 19˚C / track temp 20˚C

Following Friday’s GP2 feature race where Alexander’s day ended at turn one in a thirteen car pileup, placing him 23rd of 25 on the grid for Saturday’s Sprint Race. Dark clouds loomed and rain fell as the cars lined up on the grid but it was not enough to warrant wet tyres and the race started on time.

With lessons learnt from the Friday feature race all 25 cars made it through the first corner without incident.

Alexander made another good start with so little room for error around the streets of Monaco. The race was a bit of a procession around Monaco without a pit stop in the sprint race. Monaco is notoriously impossible to overtake and better their positions. Aside from no pit stops the sprint race did not have a full course caution or safety either to allow drivers grab positions on the restart. Alexander was able to find a few and brought the car home in 19th.

EQ8 Caterham Racing Team Manager Phill Spencer “This weekend in Monaco did not go to plan with the incident on Friday putting both drivers to the back of the grid and with a processional race it is impossible to progress through the field.”

Alexander Rossi “Today was always going to be difficult as I started the race in 23rd place after not being allowed to restart the feature race. We took a risk in the race to run on super soft tyres in the hope to gain early track position. I had another good start, but so did everyone else and it’s difficult to overtake in Monaco. I believed when it began to rain on the grid that I’d have an advantage if everyone pitted for wets to gain even more positions. This never happened and unfortunately we struggled with even more understeer throughout the race. This was not a good weekend for track results on my favorite circuit. We will improve on this before Silverstone next month.”

source: www.alexanderrossi.com